This year the ARHP Clinical Focus Course brings together experts in the field to provide an interprofessional approach to the management of systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to improve patient outcomes. The daylong course, titled Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Taming the Wolf—Salient Lessons from Practice and Research, which is offered on Nov. 4, will provide a case-based approach to complex diagnostic and management challenges in the care of these patients.
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Benjamin J. Smith, PA-C, DFAAPA, will discuss the basics of SLE: diagnosis, management and disease monitoring. This presentation will review current diagnostic and treatment approaches for patients with SLE. He will highlight the importance of considering SLE early in the diagnostic workup of individuals presenting with connective tissue disease signs and symptoms, and will provide examples of appropriate monitoring mechanisms when caring for persons with SLE.
Mr. Smith is the academic coordinator for the School of Physician Assistant Practice at the Florida State University College of Medicine. He has worked clinically in rheumatology for close to 18 years and is an ARHP past president.
Tracey Wright, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and fellowship program director, Division of Rheumatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, will present the unique challenges of diagnosis and management in children and adolescents with SLE. Children and adolescents with SLE frequently present with severe disease. However, they are especially vulnerable due to the broad impact of SLE on all aspects of their growth and development. Dr. Wright’s presentation will explore the unique challenges healthcare providers encounter in the management of pediatric SLE and provide participants with a strategy for comprehensive care for these young patients.
Dr. Wright is the primary investigator for the Clinical Core for the Center for Lupus Research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and her interests relate to pediatric SLE and improving outcomes for children and adolescents with this disease.
Bonnie Bermas, MD, formerly of Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, is a rheumatologist in the Rheumatology Division at UT Southwestern. Dr. Bermas’ presentation will illustrate how SLE preferentially affects women, particularly during their peak reproductive years. She will explain how hormonal factors and gender likely impact disease occurrence and presentation and will explore the role of gender and hormones on the incidence and the disease spectrum of SLE.
Dr. Bermas completed rheumatology fellowships at BWH and at the NIH before returning to Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an attending. At BWH, she became interested in the intersection of rheumatologic disease and reproduction inclusive of hormonal impacts and gender.